Thammasat University teacher
Pavida Pananond, PhD, teaches International Business at Thammasat Business School, Thammasat University.
Picking up the pieces and preparing for the future after the economic and social ravages wrought by the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic cannot start soon enough. For Thailand and Southeast Asia more broadly, pre-pandemic imperatives of economic upgrading for higher value-added jobs and industries are now compounded by new Covid-induced dilemmas of rising unemployment and labour abundance. Addressing this double whammy of economic challenges requires policy responses that are nuanced, fair and forward-looking in trying to achieve multiple objectives after the virus subsides.
Thailand's economy appears both odd and contradictory. On one hand, it continues to expand in the 3% range, an appealing growth trend by international standards. On the other hand, cursory and anecdotal evidence suggests the Thai economy is mired in a prolonged malaise.